Tuesday, 9 February 2010

No-one Rocks In January

Bloody roadies. Always sitting down
on the job

(Yes I know it's not January anymore. I wrote this a week ago, and besides, we've been in Wales, where it's still November).

The worst-attended gig I ever played was in January. It was 1982, at The Albany in Great Portland St, towards the end of our ill-advised and ill-fated Monday night residency. We were a four-piece and we outnumbered our audience. And that included the barman. We got four encores though.

So I was a bit worried ahead of our gig at The Phoenix in Twyford last weekend. Proper pub; good beer, rotund jolly landlord, scampi (what are scampi1?), chicken in a basket, or twiglets in batter. Darts. And skittles. For those who don't know, skittles is like bowling without the varnish, or the stupid shoes, or people in matching lurex tops whooping when they knock all the pins down.

But I'm worried. I didn't help myself by failing to e-mail around until two days before the gig. A few lame excuses came back; out of the country on business, in hospital having an operation, that sort of thing.

But the response I hate the most is 'we'll try to make it'. Eh? This is a trip to the pub, not an attempt on the North face of the Eiger. Why not just say 'I saw you before and I thought you were crap'? Or 'you old git, you can hardly carry the guitar, let alone play it?'

And the omens are bad. The afternoon of the gig, Martin, chief picker and co-crooner, mails to say he's lost his voice. My new guitar workstation dies. I bring the wrong power supply for the vox unit. During sound-check, some curmudegeonly old geezer playing dominoes yells at us; he can't hear himself think, apparently. I wonder what his excuse is the rest of the time.

But then it's time to play and things are looking up! About twenty of our lot have actually turned up, adding to a decent crowd in the pub. My good mate Alan has brought his daughter Lucy who luckily is professionally trained, as well as gorgeous, and gives us a vocal assist here and there. MiniGrump has brought a half-dozen mates, and they all dance, making us old rockers feel very special. What's more, the skittles alley is occupied by the Tone-Deaf Society of Hampshire, who love a good knees-up, and aren't too fussy.

Best song? 'Sex on fire'. (Even though no. 1 son hates it). Mini and her mates go nuts, and Mrs G puts her hands over her ears, so I know we're in the zone. Worst song? Don't be silly. They're all good.

Want to see some pictures? Go to the state-of-the-art Hot Rabbit web-site, click on 'Gigs galore', then select the first entry. Or just go here. Natty t-shirts eh? Well, I didn't say we were cool.

1 - And while we're on the subject, what do you call one scampi? Is it a scampo?


  1. Looked up the lyrics to "sex on fire". Wow...

  2. Wow! I'm going to have to check this site out!
    Scampi are shrimps covered in batter. Wouldn't you prefer a fried Mars Bar instead? They have batter on too!
    In Scotland, you get pizzas fried too!

  3. Cool! Hey, are those shirts supposed to be the "is it a rabbit or a frog?" pictures...? :)

  4. I hope you rocked out (but not with your cock out) as the saying goes.

    And man, how DARE someone use a lame excuse like being in hospital for an operation as an excuse? They have wheelchairs don't they? IVs. Surely arrangements could've been made! :)

    Rock on with your bad self UberG.

    Is your band called "In Love With Ikea"? :)

  5. Love Sex On Fire. Isn't that just a description of the band?!

  6. now that's just great. see, you worried for nothing. and mini grumpy is not married. all is well!

  7. Cool! Looks like one of those gigs where everybody is having a riot, the band included! You are right about the t-shirts, though. :)

  8. One of my favourite posts Uber Grump. Who would a thought you were in a band!

  9. I would have came if I lived there! Sounded like a good time! I love going to see live bands! Now I am off to check out the link!!!

  10. Great. Really envious. Twyford too, where I passed out one St Andrew's Night. (Don't think you were playing then.)

  11. I used to live near a Twyford. It had a railway station and little else. I hope you were at a different Twyford, for your sake.

    And as for it being November in Wales, I think you're being too kind. Technically it's still the 1980s in some parts.

  12. "is it a rabbit or a frog?"

  13. Love this post and the pictures are even better! I always laugh out loud...but, which CHAP (see how I threw in the Britspeak for you?) is you, Mate (again! ON FIRE BABY)

  14. Twiglets in batter? Mmm. Beer battered? Even better. Scampi are alien's nads.

  15. Sounds like fun. I like the t-shirts!

  16. I thought skittles were candy. Great to see the pics.

  17. Congrats on the successful gig! So glad the mates came through with a crowd of people!

  18. Dude, you guys rock!

    We have several friends in bands. It's great fun.

    Keep it up.

  19. Hot Rabbit rock... But they've never recorded in hospital - ha!

  20. PS I can't sleep again...

  21. Sounds like an excellent gig, the pictures look great!

    I'd have definitely come, if only for the scampi and skittles. ;)

  22. That really looks like fun. I wish I'd learned to play blues guitar instead of church organ.

  23. Rock on, UG! Do love the pics...

  24. Wish I lived there. I'd be rocking with your band and heating up the dance floor.

  25. "....you old git, you can hardly carry the guitar, let alone play it."

    I must remember this line next time Bob ticks me off.

  26. Alice ~ Fried pizza? Blimey. I've learnt something today

    MiMi ~ Yes! We could rename the band 'The Cog Frogs' without the expense of new t-shirts. Thank you

    Vege ~ Well that's one saying I've never heard...

    Tina ~ Yes. Yes it is

    Sarah ~ All's well that ends well...

  27. RA ~ It was indeed a riot. Especially the food

    AWS ~ Who'd have thunk eh?

    Christie ~ And you'd be welcome

    Christopher ~ They used to have four pubs, so it was a good place for passing out. Down to two now, alas

    Matthew ~ Ah ha! I didn't say which year, did I?

    RT ~ I liked it too...

    JenJen ~ I'm the handsome one, obviously

  28. mo ~ Thank you for clearing up the scampi thing

    Hunter ~ Do you want one? They're very cheap.

    wasa3 ~ Taught you something, eh? We'll play next time you're in town

    Amy ~ Not as though they were paid or anything. Ahem

    RefGeek ~ Thank you!

    BP ~ Get some sleep buddy

  29. Richard ~ Thanks!

    Blissed-OG ~ You play the church organ? Cool

    Nat ~ Well thank you

    Peach ~ We'll invite you to the next one

    Marla ~ happy to oblige!

  30. A bunch of grizzled old bastards playing kick-ass rock music to a young crowd? Nah, it'll never catch on.

  31. Can I borrow your roadie...

  32. I am so thrilled for you! I see that you are not in fact bright blue. I am also thrilled you've been rockin' up a storm. Did you cause this weather?
    Great stuff, Uber!

  33. livvia the ultimate !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!18 February 2010 at 20:47

    ooh la la thats a hot one!!!!!!

  34. hey you im not intrested though i like the sterio